Is Singapore Worth Visiting? (My Surprising Answer)

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Singapore is unlike any other country in Southeast Asia. It doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the region, and that makes people wonder is Singapore worth visiting?

Unfortunately, it’s hard for me to tell you the answer to the question is Singapore worth visiting. There are so many factors that go into answering that question.

A lot of them are personal and vary person to person. What I can do is give you all the information you need to help you decide whether Singapore is worth visiting or not.

But, if you’re here for a cut and dry answer, I’ll give you my honest opinion.

Singapore is worth visiting if you’re already in Southeast Asia and aren’t on a tight budget. It’s a super unique place, and I’m glad I visited it. However, I don’t think it’s worth planning a special visit to Singapore if you’re not already travelling in Southeast Asia.

Singapore is special enough of a city that it’s worth visiting if you’re already touring a nearby country like Thailand or Malaysia.

I don’t think it’s special enough for you to plan a trip to Southeast Asia just to visit Singapore and nowhere else.

Those are just my honest opinions of Singapore. You may think that Singapore is the best place you’ve every visited and that everybody should visit it.

But, if I were helping someone plan their first trip to Asia, it wouldn’t be high on the list of places I would tell someone they need to go.

To me, it’s just another large, modern city that you can see anywhere else in the world. It doesn’t have the same cultural charm as other major Asian cities like Seoul, Tokyo, or Taipei.

top tip

Most esims don’t work in Singapore. The best esim choice for Singapore is Drimsim.

Why Singapore is Worth Visiting

There is a reason Singapore is a popular tourist destination. It has lots of things going for it.

But are all the positives about Singapore able to make the answer to the question is Singapore worth visiting a yes?

We’ll find out!

Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Singapore is Super Safe

Before we get into what makes Singapore an amazing city, we need to get the practical stuff out of the way.

Everybody wants to know if Singapore is safe.

The answer to that question is very easy. Singapore is a very, very safe country. It has an extremely low crime rate, lower rates of discrimination, and basically no political turmoil.

Safety is not something you need to take into consideration when planning your trip to Singapore. You can visit Singapore and rest easy knowing you’re in one of the safest cities in the world.

For a complete breakdown of Singapore’s safety for tourists (including if it’s safe for members of the LBGTQIA+ community), check out my full discussion about it here.

Singapore has Some Incredibly Unique Tourist Attractions

One thing that definitely sways the answer to the question is Singapore worth visiting to the yes side is all the unique attractions it has.

There is one attraction in particular that makes me want to say that everybody should visit Singapore.

That’s Gardens by the Bay.

Even if you nothing about Singapore, you’ve probably seen pictures of Gardens by the Bay. It’s a massive indoor greenhouse, but that description doesn’t do it justice.

It’s actually two huge greenhouses and a number of smaller greenhouses. The two main greenhouses are the star of the attraction.

The first greenhouse displays plants that grow on the ground and in mild climates. The special feature of the greenhouse changes every few weeks, so you never know what you’ll see.

The second greenhouse displays plants that are found in mountains and rainforests. It also features a 35 meter tall waterfall at the entrance.

If you go to Singapore, Gardens by the Bay is a must-do attraction. You haven’t visited Singapore if you haven’t visited Gardens by the Bay.

Other Must-Do Tourist Attractions in Singapore

Of course, Singapore is more than just Gardens by the Bay. Here are the other tourist attractions that I think everybody who visits Singapore will love.

Important Note: Buying tickets online in advance through Klook saves you money on almost every tourist attraction in Singapore. Be sure to check out Klook before purchasing any tickets. Not only do you save money, but you also save a lot of time waiting in line to buy your ticket.

It’s Easy to Travel in Singapore

Southeast Asia isn’t always the easiest part of the world to travel around. Most cities don’t have metros, and you have to rely on public buses or taking taxis.

Singapore has an fantastic public transportation system. The metro is able to get you pretty much anywhere you need to go. If the metro doesn’t go where you need to go, there are air conditioned double-decker buses you can use.

The ease in which you can travel around Singapore really helps. If you’re new to travel, have mobility issues, or haven’t experienced Southeast Asia before, the ease you can travel around Singapore is a huge plus.

But, does the good public transportation sway the answer to the question is Singapore worth visiting to the side of yes?

I’m not so sure.

Reliable public transportation and having a metro system is great, but I don’t think anybody is choosing where to go on their vacation based on that alone.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Most People Won’t Experience Culture Shock

As I mentioned at the start of this post, Singapore is basically just another big metropolis. It’s got huge buildings, lots of modern architecture, and is full of shops and malls.

If it’s your first time in Asia, and you’re worried about culture shock, Singapore is a great place to start. If you’ve done any sort of travel before or live in a big city, it won’t feel that different.

You won’t be overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, and culture.

That being said, Singapore does have some things that set it out from other major cities. You’ll feel comfortable and not experience culture shock while still feeling like you experienced something new.

Singapore has a long and diverse history. There are four official languages (Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, and English) and three major ethnic groups (Malay, Chinese, and Indian).

Each of the main ethnic groups have their own area of Singapore with a long history. That’s where you’ll find the charm of Singapore. Especially in Little India.

There are a lot of cultural places and historical places in Singapore, but most tourists don’t experience them. They’re not on the super well paved tourist trail, and you kind of need to know where to look.

But when you find them, you’ll fall a little bit more in love with Singapore.

The Food is Delicious

I can’t finish out the section arguing why Singapore is worth visiting without mentioning the food.

The food everywhere in Asia is delicious in my opinion. I’ve spent a lot of time in Asia and don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal.

Singapore is no exception.

Singapore is famous for it’s Hawker Centres. They’re basically outdoor dining centres where you walk up to booths, order food, and find a table to eat at. You can order from tons of different booths and try a variety of foods.

Plus the food is known for being very affordable, which is a nice change to the rest of Singapore.

The history of the three different ethnic groups being in Singapore has created a delicious food culture. Not only can you try food from Chinese, Malay, and Indian culture, but you can try some fusion food that combines elements from all three cultures.

Don’t be afraid to try the food. You may not have experienced it or recognize the name, but it’s worth trying. You have nothing to lose at a Hawker Centre. If you try something and don’t care for it, it was only a few dollars, so you can try something else without breaking the bank.

Why Singapore Isn’t Worth Visiting

Now that we’ve talked about all the reasons you may want to visit Singapore, it’s time to talk about the cons of visiting Singapore. No city is perfect, and Singapore is no exception.

You can’t answer the question is Singapore worth visiting without looking at the downsides of visiting Singapore as well.

You need a well-rounded idea of what visiting Singapore is like, so you can make an informed choice on whether or not visiting Singapore is right for you and your travel style.

Universal Studios Singapore Puss in Boots Ride

Singapore is Expensive

There is no way around it, you’ll be spending a lot of money when you visit Singapore. It’s a major metropolis with very limited land space.

Let me warn you that it’s nearly impossible to find an affordable hotel. I’m not a super budget traveller, but even I had trouble finding a place to stay in Singapore that didn’t break the bank.

One way around this is to use hotel points. You can often find a good deal on using points to book a hotel room. I purchased IHG points during one of their buy x amount of points and get 100% bonus points events and used them to book my hotel in Singapore. It saved me a lot of money compared to paying a cash rate for the hotel.

Even after you get your hotel sorted, you’re not out of the woods for expenses in Singapore.

Food can be quite expensive if you eat outside of Hawker Centres, and most tourist attractions will cost you a pretty penny.

Singapore definitely isn’t the place you want to go if you’re looking for a budget holiday. Even the most affordable trip to Singapore still ends up being expensive. Especially compared to other countries in the region.

The only things that are affordable in Singapore are public transportation, Hawker Centres, and a few tourist attractions like the Marina Bay Sand Observation Deck and river cruise.

Singapore is Just a Big, Modern City

I know I’ve mentioned this a few times already in this post, but I couldn’t talk about why Singapore may not be worth visiting without mentioning it again.

Because, to me, this is really the major downfall of Singapore.

Singapore lacks the charm and personality of other major cities in Southeast Asia like Bangkok, Manila, and Hanoi.

I’m not against cities modernizing and updating to modern architecture, but I think Singapore has gone a little too far.

It’s taken most of the personality out of the city and seems to be going the way of Dubai where tourists are coming just to see the big buildings and how modern the city is.

There isn’t anything wrong with that, but it’s just not the right fit for a lot of travellers. Most travellers want to experience something new, learn about a city’s history, and see something they can’t see anywhere else in the world.

I think Bangkok has done a great job of modernizing without losing it’s history and culture. Singapore not so much.

All of Singapore’s major tourist attractions are centred around how modern Singapore is. The attractions were built into the modernization process.

Again, nothing wrong with that, but it isn’t the experience that most people are looking for when they travel.

You don’t really feel like you’re in Asia when you visit Singapore. It feels a bit generic.

I know that’s harsh, but I did warn you I was going to be honest in this article!

Gardens by the Bay Waterfall

There Isn’t Much to do

There are some pretty famous tourist attractions in Singapore (namely Gardens by the Bay and The Jewel), but all things considered, there isn’t a ton of things to do in Singapore.

But other than the top tourist attractions, there isn’t much to do in Singapore.

It isn’t the type of city you can visit for a week and never get bored. Most people visit for two or three days and then run out of things to do.

That’s one of the reasons it’s hard to recommend a trip to Singapore if Singapore is the only place you’re visiting on your holiday.

A trip to Singapore normally entails a long flight and a lot of expenses. It’s hard to recommend that you go through all of that to just visit Singapore and nothing else.

It’s, of course, different if you’re visiting other countries in Southeast Asia. But if you just want to go to Singapore, the lack of things to do is a major reason you may want to rethink you’re plans.

Singapore is Kind of Out of the Way

Singapore isn’t really near anything other than other countries in Southeast Asia. I know that sounds like a really obvious thing to say, but it factors into whether or not Singapore is worth visiting.

It’s not the easiest city to get to. Pretty much everybody has to endure a long flight to get to Singapore. My flight from Tokyo to Singapore was 7 hours!

When you take a long flight, you want to know that it’s worth it. That doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to love the place you visit, but it does mean that you have a reasonable expectation that you will.

If you’re flying 5+ hours to visit Singapore and no other country in Southeast Asia, I personally don’t think it’s worth it.

That’s a long way to fly to visit a small city that doesn’t have a ton of things to do.

Gardens by the Bay at Night

Is Singapore Worth Visiting? My Final Opinion

Now that we have a list of the reasons you should visit Singapore and reasons you shouldn’t visit Singapore, I’m going to lay out my final (biased) opinion.

If you’re planning to tour through Southeast Asia, it’s worth spending a few days in Singapore (assuming you’re not on a super tight budget). If you’re only planning to visit Singapore and nowhere else, it’s not worth it. Choose somewhere else to go.

There are lots of cities in Asia that have the modern architecture that Singapore has that also have more cultural things to experience.

My favourite is Kuala Lumpur. All of Malaysia is amazing, but Kuala Lumpur is very similar to Singapore culturally, has fantastic architecture, and offers more cultural and historical tourist attractions. It also have a more robust public transportation system than Singapore.

If I had to choose between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, I would go to and recommend Kuala Lumpur every single time.

Bangkok is another city in Southeast Asia that mixes modern architecture and historical and cultural attractions. It’s also has a metro system. It’s not as robust as Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, but it’s better than nothing.

If you don’t necessarily need to visit Southeast Asia but want to visit an Asian city that is both modern yet cultural, then Tokyo, Taipei, Busan, Hong Kong, or Shanghai will be your best options in my opinion.

Singapore is fine. It’s nothing super special in my opinion. It has a few tourist attractions that are amazing, but I don’t think it’s worth a special trip just to Singapore.

Is Singapore Worth Visiting? (My Surprising Answer)Is Singapore Worth Visiting? (My Surprising Answer)Is Singapore Worth Visiting? (My Surprising Answer)
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